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KickStarter and Video Games – The Blowouts and the Busts

Crowdsourced funding has certainly gotten a new lease of life with Kickstarter. Whether you want to make a documentary on daffodils or create a sculpture from mustang engines and Lloyd mats, Kickstarter is certainly an option for getting the initial investment needed to get your project off the ground.

Kickstarter’s success at raising funds for art installations, documentaries and other projects has led to a high degree of interest from indie game developers, although some have been more successful than others. Check out these efforts at getting the public on board through Kickstarter.

Blowout – Wasteland 2

With players clamoring for a sequel to the 1980s game Wasteland for over two decades, it wasn’t surprising the $900,000 Kickstarter goal was reached in less than 48 hours. All in all a total of over $2.9 million was pledged before the Kickstarter deadline was reached, over 4 times the original budget.

Bust – Your World

You might think a $42 million lotto winner wouldn’t need to ask the internet for a further $1.1 million. However, Ellwood Bartlett would disagree.

Rather than investing some of his own fortune, he set up a Kickstarter page for his new MMO idea, explaining that a successful Kickstarter would serve not just as a source of funding, but also a definitive indication of interest. With just 109 backers and $21,345 pledged of a $1.1 million goal when the deadline was reached, it seems that ’Your World’ has neither.

Blowout – Double Fine Adventure

Double Fine Adventure currently holds the record for the most money raised for a game through crowd funding. A whopping 87,000 donors pledged over $3.45 million for the game through Kickstarter.

The idea for crowd sourcing the game came due to 2 Player Productions interest in filming a documentary about game development. With a traditional publisher on board, honest portrayal of the process of game development would be difficult, so a Kickstarter project appealing to a niche audience was ieal. The adventure game had a target of $400,000, which was exceeded in just 9 hours.

Bust – Mythic: the Story of Gods and Men

After gaining pledges of only $4,739, far short of its $80,000 goal, Little Monster Productions quietly shut down its Kickstarter page. Why could that be?

It might be something to do with the fact various websites including the Something Awful Forums, Reddit, and RockPaperShotgun brought up some interesting questions about the game assets and other media they had put up on their Kickstarter page. It seems that everything from character art to backgrounds to the reward tier text were simply taken from other online sources. Even the photographs of their offices were actually stolen! It just shows the danger of pledging funds to an unproven source … always do your research!